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Safari Journal

Sidney Nolan in the Wimmera

Sidney Nolan in the Wimmera

There is nothing like a little country travel to spark curiosity and nourish creative inspiration. I recently travelled to Horsham to visit family and decided that during this stay my husband and I would spend time visiting and exploring places in the area that were new to us.

It just so happened the gorgeous Art Deco town building which houses the Horsham Regional Art Gallery were showing a very special collection of works by Sidney Nolan, titled Expansive Ground Sidney Nolan in the Wimmera. The artworks on loan from the National Gallery of Australia and the Heide Museum of Modern Art were paintings created by Nolan during his time conscripted in the army. Instead of fighting on the frontline, Nolan was stationed in rural Victoria guarding emergency food stores in the Wimmera towns of Dimboola, Nhill, Ballarat and Horsham from potential invasion during WWII.

“Sidney Nolan’s time in the Wimmera region had a profound effect on this development as an artist. It became an expansive ground from which he began to develop a new vision of the Australian landscape. This selection of works from 1942 and 1943 reveals a range of stylistic and thematic subjects which he explored with vigour and originality.” (Horsham Regional Art Gallery 2022).

It was such a worthy visit, as someone who appreciates colour I loved the repeated use of yellow hues through the collection, the saturation and vibrancy was just mesmerising, I could also see how Nolan’s artistic style was influenced by Modernism and other artists such as Picasso.

So if you are visiting a small country town, I recommend taking time to seek out local galleries and museums as you never know what you may find.

Safari Journal / Blog by Safari Fusion | Sidney Nolan in the Wimmera | Horsham Regional Art Gallery

Safari Journal / Blog by Safari Fusion | Sidney Nolan in the Wimmera | Expansive Ground at the Horsham Regional Art Gallery | Head of a soldier 1942

Safari Journal / Blog by Safari Fusion | Sidney Nolan in the Wimmera | Expansive Ground at the Horsham Regional Art Gallery | Dimboola 1943

Safari Journal / Blog by Safari Fusion | Sidney Nolan in the Wimmera | Expansive Ground at the Horsham Regional Art Gallery | Dimboola 1943

Safari Journal / Blog by Safari Fusion | Sidney Nolan in the Wimmera | Expansive Ground at the Horsham Regional Art Gallery | Kiata 1943

Safari Journal / Blog by Safari Fusion | Sidney Nolan in the Wimmera | Expansive Ground at the Horsham Regional Art Gallery | Kiata 1943

Safari Journal / Blog by Safari Fusion | Sidney Nolan in the Wimmera | Expansive Ground at the Horsham Regional Art Gallery | Woman in Doorway 1943

Safari Journal / Blog by Safari Fusion | Sidney Nolan in the Wimmera | Expansive Ground at the Horsham Regional Art Gallery | Morning Mass 1943

[Images: Kellie Shearwood]

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